Edward Guinness, 1st Earl Of Iveagh


  • Richest of the Rich position: 185
  • Birth/Death: 1847-1927
  • Origin of wealth: Brewing
  • Wealth: £13.48m
  • Net National Income: £4.145bn
  • Net National Income Percent: 0.33%
  • In Today’s Money: £3.662 billion
  • Edward Guinness, later the 1st Earl of Iveagh, was the driving force behind the expansion of Guinness from being a small Dublin brewer when he joined the firm in 1868, to the largest single brewery in the world making 1.2m bulk barrels by 1886. Guinness, with the help of a highly competent professional management team, invested over £1m in that period in new facilities, all from the brewery’s own retained profits. In 1886, the company was floated on the stock market valued at £6m. In scenes reminiscent of the mid 1980s, the offer was twenty times oversubscribed, and the shares rose to a 60% premium on their first day’s trading. The family and their banking advisers retained control from the start. Guinness started with a significant minority stake after the float but gradually bought his way back to a controlling stake.

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